When I started Full Swing Public Relations, I had one mission: to elevate the stories of women-owned businesses and ignite positive change in the world. Last month I passed the one-year anniversary of my company’s inception, and now I’m excited to announce some key changes to my business model that will increase Full Swing’s impact.
Last year, I left a job that kept me small. My own expectations around starting a business were modest. I thought I’d take a significant salary hit, or best case scenario, I’d make my old salary back. I intended to be a solopreneur, selectively taking on three to four clients at a time that I was confident I could serve really well on my own. My goal was to keep my overhead low, in order to serve clients that couldn’t afford the costs associated with hiring a larger PR agency.
Flash forward 12 months and I have successfully pitched my first story to the New York Times and Fast Company. I helped elect the first female mayor of Boise in a landslide runoff election. Getting client hits in Business Insider, Marketplace, Forbes, or Inc. no longer feels like a long shot. I was tapped to co-found Girlboss’s online LGBTQ Collective, and I spoke at Altitude Summit earlier this month. My client list is growing. So I’ve decided to take the leap, bringing on two digital marketing experts who both happen to be new moms, and who I know will deliver exponential benefits to our clients through integrated PR and content marketing campaigns through leveraging websites (which we can now build), social media channels (which we can expertly manage), and through e-courses and gated content.
And so, while I’ve hung up my solopreneur hat (sort of) by expanding my team to micro-agency status, some things have not changed. Most importantly, my two new partners are not my employees. We’re all business owners. The last thing grown-ass women need is a boss keeping them small, in my experience. By partnering with self-motivated, talented, and hard-working independents, I’m helping more women business owners succeed while also having the flexibility to live where they want, when they want, and be with their children when they need to. None of us want an office; we co-work or work from home because we are working parents who value flexibility and client results way more than hours sitting at a desk.
With our small but mighty team and my affiliation with Public Relations Consultants Group, we are able to deliver world-class results under-budget while still providing senior-level expertise to clients. Take, for example, June Noel, who is a Harvard-educated WordPress expert and former Director of Product at LumenAd, a venture-backed ad tech company. June is obsessed with UX (that’s user experience, and it’s everything when your website functions as your office or retail space for customers or clients). She’s also a total do-gooder who started a nonprofit helping children in the Philippines attend school, and another state-side to help girls gain STEM experience.
Rounding out our trio is Holly Conti, Head of Digital Marketing. With nearly a decade of experience managing brand platforms in digital, television, and print media, Holly specializes in helping business owners nurture their ongoing relationships with their target customers through strategic content marketing. Holly has led digital course launches with six-figure results. A former account executive at a social impact marketing agency, Holly’s past clients include HP, Smithsonian, and 1440 Multiversity and she holds a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University. She’s a total boss lady when it comes to leading with strategy in campaign and budget management, and she makes even the most complicated projects flow seamlessly.
One thing I’ve learned from being an employee is that the best bosses hire up. I am a big believer in the Clifton StrengthsFinder, which is why I publish my top five strengths on this site. I know where I’m strong and where I should hire to fill the gaps. Ultimately, I believe when we all lean into our strengths and do the work that feels easy as breathing, we can shed what doesn’t light our souls on fire. That opens us up to manifesting our wildest professional dreams. The best leaders multiply the talents of those they work with and never, ever diminish what people are capable of. I know these two will keep me humble and honest, and add tremendous value to our clients.